A happy young woman wearing a holiday-themed hat celebrates with her office team members virtually.
Whether your team is remote, in person, or a mix of both, these suggestions will add some fun and ingenuity to your next company holiday party. — Getty Images/Phyart Studio

For businesses of all kinds, the holiday season is an opportunity to build meaningful connections through celebration. However, planning an office party can be more challenging for remote and hybrid workforces.

Here are some ways you can host a unique holiday party regardless of where your team members are located.

[Read More: 10 Timeless Business Lessons from Hallmark Christmas Movies]

Remote team celebrations

Parties for remote teams work best when attendees can share an experience. Here are a few ideas on how to create such an experience.

Virtual Secret Elf

A gift exchange is a great activity for remote teams. Start by determining a gift budget. From there, invite employees to sign up, asking for their name, mailing address, and any preferences or allergies.

You can use an online tool to match secret elves with giftees. Next, participants will send an anonymous gift to their recipient. Once everyone has received a gift, plan a virtual party in which everyone opens their presents and guesses who their secret elf is.

Virtual fundraising and charity events

You can support a good cause with a virtual charity event, such as a virtual fundraising gala and silent auction. Aside from fundraising, your team could donate their time by doing things such as writing Christmas cards to residents at a senior living facility.

Online team-building activities

Activities like an online cooking class offer attendees the chance to learn new skills together and have the flexibility to account for dietary restrictions so that everyone can be included. Or consider an online escape room, which can be a fun way to help teams bond and learn to work together toward a common goal.

A family-friendly virtual office party

Invite your team members’ families — and don’t forget their pets — to a virtual office party to do activities like decorating cookies or playing games. Or you could host a family-friendly movie night with a site like Tubi, which offers free viewing with ads.

[Read More: 10 Remote Holiday Party Ideas]

Consider an online escape room, which can be a fun way to help teams bond and learn to work together toward a common goal.

In-person team celebrations

If you’re hosting an in-person party, consider these ideas to make it a memorable event.

Potluck

This old staple can get a fresh spin when team members bring family dishes or foods they bake to celebrate cultural holiday traditions. For a simpler approach, have participants bring their favorite holiday cookies for an indulgent spread.

Charity/volunteer events

Volunteering together by assisting at a local food bank or wrapping holiday gifts is a great team-building activity. Alternatively, consider visiting a local retirement home to spend time with the residents or serving a hot meal to people in need.

Themed costume parties

An ugly sweater party encourages a fun, festive atmosphere, while a holiday pajama party sets the tone for a more relaxed event. Consider adding a photo booth so attendees can snap pictures of their outfits and capture the memorable occasion.

White elephant gift exchange

This variation on Secret Elf encourages participants to amp up the silliness by trading gifts. Participants should bring an anonymous wrapped gift to the party, and then everyone draws a number to indicate the order in which they’ll choose a gift.

After the first person unwraps a gift, the second person can either take the first person’s gift or choose another one to unwrap. Continue around the circle, returning to the first person for a final chance to decide if they want to make a trade.

Hybrid team celebrations

Here are some ideas to engage party attendees when some are in-person and others join in virtually.

Holiday game night

Bring some friendly competition to your hybrid office party with a holiday game night. Some games can be easily adapted to handle both in-person and remote players, like charades, bingo, or trivia. Try adding holiday-themed questions for a fun and festive challenge.

Office karaoke or talent show

With online tools like Zoom, Kabloom, and Lucky Voice, you can throw a karaoke or talent show. Before the party, establish a list of songs with your team and plan a dress rehearsal — and mic test — to ensure everyone can join.

Gift or cookie exchange (via mail)

Make sure all participants are matched with a coworker so that everyone is set to send and receive a gift. Plan a party that includes space for people to attend in person, as well as remotely. Exchanging cookies instead of gifts is a tasty variation on this activity.

Hybrid experiences

You could host a cookie-decorating contest to let your team members show off their creativity. Hybrid groups can also enjoy movie nights together. Before the party, let everyone vote on which holiday favorite they want to watch.

[Read More: 6 Team-Building Exercises for Hybrid Teams]

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